The perpetual search for solutions to societal conflicts, particularly those tagged intractable, that is, irresolvable, took a dramatic turn when South Africa, one of such age-long conflicts, bowed to mediation after about 48 years of fierce existence. Until now, no rigorously deep insight that is capable of accurately and adequately accounting for the dialectics of history that brought apartheid to such an abrupt end. South Africa became a new model of a democratic society in a transition that did not involve an external third-party and bloodshed. A rigorous study of the South African conflict, using critical discourse analysis and navigating through the political theory of nation-building, reveals that a set of theoretical paradoxes may have underlain the peace process as teased out in this paper.
Key words: Apartheid, de-escalation, intractable conflict, transition, sustainability, deconstruction, societal peace.
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